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Long range forecast: Chili weather on the Mountain

When the weather starts to get chilly … start thinking chili.
Roan Mountain State Park will hold its Annual Chili Cook Off on Saturday, Oct. 4, at Picnic Shelter 3 next to the Park’s campground.
Park Ranger Meg Guy said registration for the event is now open, but the contest is limited to the first 20 participants. That means anyone with dreams of becoming a chili champion is encouraged to sign up early.
Contestants may set up at 8:30 a.m. and judging will take place at noon, Guy said. The three categories for judging are Best Tasting, Hot and Spicy, and an award for Best Ambiance given to the best-decorated cooking area.
“Prizes such as free cabin stays, free camping, and park gift certificates will be awarded to the winners,” Guy said.
Once judging is completed, visitors are invited to stay and sample the different chilis.
Pre-registration for the event is required, but there is no entry fee. Registration forms are available at the Roan Mountain State Park Headquarters and at the Campground Check-In Station.
Here are the rules for the event:
• All contestants must make at least one full gallon of chili. If submitting two different entries — one in the Overall Best Tasting category and in the Hot and Spicy category — contestants must submit at least one gallon of each type.
• Chili must be cooked onsite at the picnic shelter. Meat may be pre-cooked and brought to the site.
Do not bring a gallon of pre-cooked chili and simply warm it up onsite, this will result in disqualification.
• A lid or covering for the chili is required in order to prevent contamination.
• Contestants must furnish all their own ingredients, utensils, and grill or cookstove. Limited electrical outlets are available; please let the park know if you need electricity.
• Cooking areas must be kept neat and sanitary.
• Bowls and spoons for judging and tasting will be provided by the park.
Guy also reminded contestants to name their chili.
For more information or questions on the contest, please contact Park Ranger Meg Guy at 772-0190 or by e-mail at meg.guy@tn.gov.